The Dyson Omni-glide is a completely new Dyson design, specifically aimed at small apartments with hard floor throughout
- Highly manoeuvrable
- User-replaceable battery
- Small bin
- Doesn’t work on carpets
- Short battery life
Anyone who lives in a small space with predominantly hard floors probably never expected to get a Dyson vacuum cleaner to call their own, but the Dyson Omni-glide delivers exactly that.
It doesn’t have the full versatility we’ve come to expect from a Dyson vacuum cleaner as it can’t tackle carpeted areas much larger than a small mat or rug. However, if your living space is largely carpet free, its unique motorised floor head and a selection of attachments make it a highly effective cleaning tool.
Dyson Omni-glide: What you need to know
Everything about this Dyson is downsized, from the motor that powers it to the dust collection bin. The Omni-glide only weighs 1.9kg and measures 206 x 91 x 1,077mm (WDH) when stored flat. There’s a huge benefit to this compact size and weight – you can lift it off the ground and barely notice you’re doing it.
In the box you get the main vacuum unit, an extension wand and Dyson’s Omnidirectional soft roller head, which is where the magic happens. There’s also a good selection of hand attachments, including a crevice tool, a dusting brush that attaches to it, a wider nozzle for quickly disposing of larger spillages, and a mini motorised tool you can use to tackle things such as mats and rugs.
It’s worth noting that the connections for all these attachments are smaller than Dyson’s usual size, even the V7 Trigger handheld, so you won’t be able to interchange them with attachments from other models.
Dyson Omni-glide: Price and competition
The small scale of the Dyson Omni-glide has thankfully translated to the price, too. At £399 it isn’t Dyson’s cheapest vacuum. You can get a Dyson V7, V8 or V10 Animal for the same or less. These are more powerful models that can clean both hard floor and carpet, and would be a better option for anyone with even a small amount of carpet to clean.
When it comes to the crunch, any cordless vacuum cleaner will make a good stab at cleaning a hard floor; you don’t need to have one especially for the purpose. However, the way the Omni-glide skims effortlessly across hard floors makes it much easier to manipulate than a multipurpose vacuum.
In some ways, it reminds me of the Eufy HomeVac S11 Infinity. That isn’t quite as svelte, light and manoeuvrable as the Omni-glide, but it’s around £150 cheaper and often on offer for less than that.
Dyson Omni-glide: Design
The design is different to anything we’ve seen from Dyson before. Starting at the top, it eschews the gun-like grip and trigger of the V-series and instead has a long, tennis racket-style handle that’s comfortable to hold and easily rotated.
This houses the battery, which is also easy to remove, and has two buttons at the thumb: one for switching on the vacuum, another for engaging the higher-powered boost mode. You don’t have to hold these down: you press them once to activate, then again to switch off.
Inline below the handle is the filter and a compact motor. This cylindrical unit has a diameter of 80mm, so it’s small, compact and light. Below that, you’ll find the collection bin, which is a rather tiny 0.2 litres. That’s fine for small apartments, but it’s going to need regular emptying.
The genius of this stick cleaner, however, lies in the floor head. It has two soft rollers that sit on either side of the suction tube that rotate in opposing directions, each gathering dust and whatever else is on your floor into the centre of the head to be sucked up the tube.
The head balances on four small coasters, which can easily move in any direction and give the cleaner the impression that it’s floating across your floor. It can move in any direction, not just the direction in which the rollers are moving, so you can even sweep from side to side with it. It’s connected to the stick with a rotating joint, so you can perform full 180-degree rotations with a flick of the wrist.
Dyson Omni-glide: Cleaning performance
The small size of the main unit reduces the amount of suction power available to the Dyson Omni-glide. That’s not a huge problem since hard floors require less section than carpets. What’s more, by using smaller pipes and apertures, the suction is more intensely concentrated.
As a result, it performed well in our suction tests. We measured the suction in the vacuum’s Standard mode at 9kPa, which is on a level with an average cordless vacuum cleaner’s suction but is the equivalent to the Economy mode on the Dyson V15 Detect. With the Boost button engaged, it reached 17.3kPa, which is as powerful as most cheaper rival vacuums but falls well short of other Dyson vacuums.
It clearly doesn’t need extreme power to do a good job, however. Looking at the roller I couldn’t imagine it would cope particularly well with larger debris such as the Cheerios we use in one of our standard tests.
However, it confounded my expectations, scooping them up as well as anything I’ve seen: 100% of a 26g spillage of Cheerios disappeared up its pipes on a single pass. Its performance in our flour test was almost as impressive, with 49g of a 50g spillage transferred to the collection bin in one pass, leaving nothing behind it. I suspect the missing 1g was caught in the brushes or along the pipe.
The best thing about this cleaner, however, is its size and manoeuvrability. You can zip around a kitchen in no time with this thing, nipping into, out of and around tables, chairs and stool legs. Lunge with the stick and it can almost lie flat, making it possible to clean under even quite low furniture.
It’s great for going right up to the edges of walls and kitchen units, and it’s very easy to change the angle of movement. Although it glides on its coasters, it feels more like you’re pushing it around on a cushion of air.
Dyson Omni-glide: Battery life, emptying and filters
The handle-mounted battery on the Dyson Omni-glide is significantly smaller than you’ll find on Dyson’s larger cordless models. I hoped the smaller size of the motor might compensate; alas, it doesn’t. Battery life is disappointing.
With the omnidirectional head attached it lasted a mere 22mins 33secs in Standard mode and 8mins 40secs on Max. Both are a little shorter than we’d generally expect on a Dyson model, but spare batteries and a separate charger are available as extras.
As with Dyson’s other sticks, you have to remove any accessories to empty the bin. It doesn’t have the lever mechanism that the bigger models have; instead, you press a button on the side to release the trap door and manually pull the bin’s outer sheath down to remove stubborn muck.
Any part of the vacuum that isn’t electrical can be washed under running water, including the filter, the collection bin and the roller bars.
Dyson Omni-glide: Verdict
Dyson seems to have an answer for everything, even the question of how to make a cordless vacuum cleaner for people who don’t have carpets. As usual, the answer is well thought out and superbly engineered.
Using the Omni-glide on hard floors is a joy because it’s so light and easy to steer. It doesn’t have the power or the suction of Dyson’s toughest vacuums, but it doesn’t need it. In our real-world tests, it performed as well as vacuums with much higher levels of suction.
However, therein lies the dilemma of the product. If you don’t have a single carpeted area and the space you live in is reasonably small, the Dyson Omni-glide is a great cleaning tool, if a touch on the pricey side. But most homes have a mixture of carpets and hard floors, and with most regular cordless stick vacuums capable of cleaning both, the Omni-Glide finds itself in somewhat of a niche.
If you want a light and manoeuvrable vacuum that can cope with both floor types then the Eufy HomeVac S11 Infinity is the closest you’ll get. However, it’s a long way off the floating elegance of the Omni-glide, which for hard floor cleaning is in a league of its own.